“Remember the Greek and Armenian Refugee Children”: South Australian relief efforts in the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides
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Even the most sweeping mega-narratives are composed of collections of micro-narratives, the stories of actions and experiences of individuals. By blending the stories of individuals and organisations from South Australia with the events that swept the Hellenic world in the first part of the 20th century, the result is a powerful testament to the ability of individuals to enact change under any circumstance. When it is taken into account that these efforts to collect money, food and clothing occurred at a time when South Australia was endeavouring to recover from World War One, the story of the campaign to save lives on the other side of the globe becomes even more amazing. South Australian efforts on behalf of the genocide survivors — either through humanitarian relief or through active rescue — are one of the “lighter” aspects of the history of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides. Rev. James E. Cresswell, Ethel Cooper and their supporters serve as reminders that even amidst the darkest episodes of human existence, there are sparks of light. Despite being enveloped by inhumanity, some retained their humanity.